By Zaid Taji Farouki

The Entrepreneurial Struggle: loving what you do, but waking up not knowing who you are

The closest friends and family may realize that over the past year according to them “you’re [I am] no longer fun” the past year has been a roller coaster of emotions and events. Many people may read this entry and say he shouldn’t be writing this as it may effect him badly in people’s vision or many have said “write about it later on in your life when you’ve made it” But I feel like I need to write about it now, as a form of counseling etching these words into “stone”. Sharing it with everyone, because if there is anyone else in the world going through the same thing as I am, you’re not alone.

A bit of background detail, last October I had launched my fashion label a dream I have had for as long as I remember, In January I opened the doors to our atelier, over these months, we have been featured on many regional and global magazines, TV channels, and blogs. From the first pieces we created we were on the cover on two magazines across the Middle East. Featured on CNN Arabic, twice on MBC, and Al Hurra TV.  As well as dressing two French celebrities to Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival). A shortlist of the publicity and support we have received. Moreover, we are currently working on our a new theme which will be launched in October, as well as many other projects that I will be proud to announce about soon.

Looking back at this I realize how far ahead I have come from the simple beginnings of just having a dream, to picking up art in college to get the creativity flowing, to starting this blog, to going to fashion school, up to where we are today. Every step of the way has been a blessing. A blessing that not many people in this world get to experience in this world. A blessing that I am thankful for every living moment in my life. A 24 year old having the ability to follow his dream and passion. But all this comes with a price, the sleepless nights, unhealthy sleeping and eating habits, managing finances, to hiring the right team, to reaching the quality needed to achieve your vision, to meeting orders, to most importantly making ends meet. I look back at what I was worried about this time last year and I say to myself, “why was I worrying on such an insignificant event or problem.” But once you’re in the middle of all of it, it doesn’t look like that it, looks like the world is caving in. I always remind myself that next year looking back at what I am stressed about right now won’t mean a thing.

I can only imagine it as I have started my journey deep inside a cave, growing up I can see the tiniest hole that sneaked in the smallest beam of sunlight, the older you get the more you start to climb, worried anxious whether you’re going to fall, if you’re even going to reach that light, or when you get up there you may find someone that will kick you back down into it. As an enterprenuer and an owner of my own startup thats what I feel every day, somedays better than the others, but the goal is set ahead, but sometimes you sway off path, life looks worrying and dark then. Everyday you just have to wake up and show up. I had stumbled upon an article discussing these situations perfectly.

Jennifer Aniston was recently reading an article describing a Q&A session in Italy that was held to celebrate her receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Giffoni Film Festival.

A young woman had asked her if she has ever experienced waking up in the morning and not knowing who she was. The star wiped her eyes as she told the audience, “There are not enough fingers and toes in this entire room to count how many times that moment has happened to me. We’re all human beings at the end of the day, whether we’re a waitress or a baker or a student or whatever we are, at the end of the day you kind of hit walls and think I kind of can’t go any farther,” Aniston said. “Or this is too much. My heart can’t take it or the pain is too great, or am I good enough? Will I survive? And you just have to sort of somehow miraculously overcome. You just go, ‘I can’t, yes I can, yes you can.’ “

I personally can relate to this on every level, moreover, researching if my emotions and state is normal, and I am not alone in this world. I have also stumbled upon an article named “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship” with a description saying

No one said building a company is easy. But it’s time to be honest about how brutal it really is — and the price so many founders secretly pay.

It describes the psychological toll entrepreneurs have to face on a daily basis. and their psychological makeup; they are the people who have strong energetic, motivational, and creative traits. Therefore, they have strong emotional states- double edges sword.

Entrepreneurs assume many roles and face countless setbacks–lost customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, staffing problems–all while struggling to make payroll.

I am not writing this today for the loved ones reading this to get worried, I am writing this to say I enjoy every bit of it, this is me building a dream of mine, but some days you do wake up not knowing who you are and that is ok and we need to acknowledge that this is ok and I as I have previously mentioned I need to write about it now, as a form of counseling, etching these words into “stone”. I am currently at the point of either I accept this and this worrying and stress becomes a daily routine eventually taking my creative thoughts with it, or I take all this emotion and transfer it to some kind of energy that I can utilize in moving forward in both my personal and professional life. Never forgetting myself again, leading a healthy life, losing these 8 Kilos that I have gained over the past year because I stopped working out and looking after myself. Looking at every door that shuts in my face as a blessing, I don’t need to knock down every door. Sometimes it leads you to better things. I am writing this in hopes of change. I end this post with a high-note.

When you are willing to be emotionally honest,  you can connect more deeply with the people around you. “When you deny yourself and you deny what you’re about, people can see through that, willingness to be vulnerable is very powerful for a leader.”

All The Love in The World,

Zaid Farouki

P.S. Count your blessings, love every person and every step you take in life, you’re stronger that what you think.

Born In A System

Considering how to present our collections from this day forward as an artist and the creative designer for the brand I have decided that we will not abide by the fashion system of showing months before the collection is ready in the atelier, or even the necessity to have a 6 month interval between each collection. As my creations will have pieces that will go with the season it will be presented in. As an artist that uses fashion as his medium the emergence of a new theme for my creations will appear once I feel that I have presented everything that I have. And a new distinct theme and circumstance have taken over my conscience and it becomes what I notice every minute of every hour of every day.

Inspired by Claude Monet’s fascination with Water Lilies and painting over 250 oil paintings of them until his death. I knew I had to follow his art of obsession. I Imagine my creations with every breath and living moment, I envision my woman in her surrounding moving to the sound of her own drums. Then one day my eyes encouter a beautiful subject across a pond, allowing me to forget the past and move forward wandering and studying her art of seduction, it’s features, and its ever growing beauty in my eyes and therefore a new muse and theme arise.

أصمم مجموعتي بنظره مستوحاه من أفكاري و معتقداتي الفنية ، فاقدم الأزياء من بعد أن أتخيل و استلهم من ما يدور من حولي ، مع كل نفس و لحظه في يومي لاخرجها بصبغه فنيه فأنا أعامل تصاميمي كمجموعه فنيه كامله و أقوم بإصدارها وتنفيذها و إنتاجها تباعا، حتى أشعر بإكتمال لنظرتي الفنيه  ولفكرة العمل و تقديمها بما يليق بها حتى وإن إمتد الأسلوب لأكثر من موسم فأنا لا أعتمد أسلوب العرض التقليدي و النظام المتبع له. أستهوي اسلوب الفنان كلود مونييه في التعبير عن إبداعاته الفنيه بإستمراره بإستنفاذ كل أساليب الرسم لزهره الزنبقه المائيه حتى وصل إنتاجه إلى ٢٥٠ لوحه فنيه فأرى نفسي أقرب إلى إنتهاج دربه في التعبير الفني عن نفسي.

أتخيل إمرأه تتواجد في بركه ماء تجذبني تسرقني من ما هو حولي لأنسى نفسي معها وأتقرب إليها لتغويني فأرى جمالها يتزايد في عيني و ينشاء في وجداني و عقلي عشق جديد و تسآئل أكبر يشغل عقلي فتترآى لي أفكاري و يبدأ إستلهامي.

En ce qui concerne la façon dont nous allons présenter nos collections a partir de ce jour : En tant qu’artiste et Designer de la marque, j’ai décidé que nous n’allons pas suivre le système classique du monde de la mode, qui consiste a montrer la collection avant que celle-ci ne soit prête à l’atelier, ou encore avoir six mois d’intervalle entre chaque collection. En effet, mes créations contiendront certaines pièces qui seront en harmonie avec la saison où ces dernières vont être présentées.

En tant qu’artiste qui considère la mode comme une inspiration, la naissance d’un nouveau thème pour mes créations n’apparaitra qu’une fois que je sentirai avoir tout donné et présenté. C’est à cet instant que ma conscience peut être envahi par un nouveau thème distinct. Ainsi, celui ci deviendra mon obsession, chose que j’observerai chaque minute de la journée.

Cependant, inspiré par la fascination de Claude Monet par les Nymphéas et également par les 250 peintures à l’huile, qu’il a produites jusqu’à la fin de ses jours, je savais que je devais suivre son chemin et m’inspirer de son art pour l’obsession.

Chaque instant de la vie et chaque souffle contribuent à l’imagination de mes créations. Effectivement, j’imagine chaque mouvement de la femme : de ses gestes au son de ses propres battements.

Et puis un jour, mes yeux se posent sur une créature divine traversant une rivière, qui me permet d’oublier le passé et me consacrer à l’avenir, pensant et essayant de comprendre son art de séduction, ses traits et sa beauté qui ne cesse de croitre à mes yeux.

Ainsi, une nouvelle muse et un nouveau thème prennent place.


Dolce & Gabbana Abayas

We kick off of the year with one of the worlds largest fashion brands launching a line dedicated to the Arab and Islamic worlds. During an interview with the national UAE Stefano Gabbana mentioned “I’m really fascinated with the Middle East and we’ve just completed a prêt-a-porter collection of abayas and sheylas.” he said “Pieces have some lace, embroidery and some prints – but not too much.”

Sources: The National UAE, Dolce & Gabbana, & Pictures from


Looking for a last minute gift to buy a special person during the holidays? Well Louis Vuitton made it easy for you if the person your gifting loves initials. With a design enriched with screws reminiscent of iconic Louis Vuitton trunks, these necklaces, bracelets and earrings make a perfect gift. With the initials advertised to Amanda Lear’s “Alphabet” its hard not to realizing the subtle ode to the 70’s and the Disco Era.


Daily Obsessions

In celebration of a the founder’s 100-year dream journey Ferragamo has launched “100 years 100 days”. With new features, stories, pieces, and movies being launched everyday for 100 days. In collaboration with Edgardo Osorio the acclaimed young shoe designer, he produced masterpieces  that playfully channel Ferragamo’s iconic designs from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. As always I had to share my obsession with one of the pieces the “Winged Sandal” if a woman would pass by wearing these I assure you no one would be looking anywhere but on her feet.

Pictures taken from &

Pirelli 2016 Calendar

Pirelli the Italian tire manufacturer has produced these calendars for over 50 years – most notorious for their pin up girls and on rare occasions, featured women in clothes – this year it has taken a turn. The photographer behind this year’s calendar is Annie Leibovitz and for the first time the attraction of the subjects is in their résumés, not their measurements. To say that these women are the usual subject of the Pirelli calendar is an understatement. This calendar shows the women who define modern life, not the sexy girls who are too young to have accomplished anything.

In The New York Times written by Vanessa Friedman discussing the calendar. She spoke about an interview she had with Antonio Achille, a partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group. He mentioned:

Female income worldwide totaled $18 trillion in 2014 within the luxury car market in the United States, 50 percent of vehicle purchases are decided by women, and 75 percent are “influenced” by them. Beyond that, Mr. Achille said: ‘Women are superb brand ambassadors. Women share a positive car experience with more than 20 people on average, while men share experiences with only two.’

And as Ms. Zimmerman said: “Women have a disproportionately loud voice compared to their male counterparts. And for those women it is no longer socially acceptable to walk into a high-end garage that sells Pirelli tires and see a calendar with naked girls on the wall. You’d drive right out again in that Mercedes you came in with.”



Pictures owned by Annie Leibovitz & Pirelli.

Turning 24

In a bit less than 57 hours ago I turned 24. Looking back at it I realized what a great and hectic year I had gone through and since It has been a while since I last updated you about my life. I decided  you guys need an update highlighting the events and obstacles I faced.

This time last year I was packing and getting ready to move to Dubai to set up my own fashion brand, in the creative community called Dubai Design District or shortened as D3. D3 is a new area in Dubai incentivizing regional and global creatives to be part of the growing creative sector in the region. With my brand in mind, I was in the hunt for a space that I could call my very own atelier.

The first few months of the year were quite hectic, with setting up the company, paperworks, and obtaining my residency here in the UAE. Due to the fact that Dubai Design District – D3 is a new area we were waiting for the buildings to finish for us to walk in and create the interior fit-outs, and decorate. As of the 1st of December 2015 we can officially say we are almost there. The fit-outs are complete and all we need is a few movable partitions, life size paintings made by moi and a fitting room curtain (which I have custom ordered, which will be made out of pure camel leather) for us to officially make it our home.

While preparing for our store and creating my first collection. I got the great opportunity of being offered a space in a regional fashion event based here in Dubai called Fashion Forward. It was such a great opportunity to hold my own presentation to showcase my own wearable art pieces.

Driving home from work on my birthday made me realize how many countries I have moved from in the past 4 years. I celebrated my birthday this year in Dubai (where I currently live), the year before in Jordan (as I was visiting my family), the year before I celebrated it in Milan, and the year before that in Washington D.C. Moreover, it showed me how I had a vision and how I am currently working towards it. A year ago I was completely in the dark unsure of what was going to happen. I can’t wait to see what this year has hidden for me.



P.S. I am sitting on my desk in the atelier typing this out. Can’t help but wait for you to come and visit.

The Golden Globe’s Best Dressed

Whenever I watch an award ceremony my eyes aren’t glued to the TV when the awards are being handed out. My main focus is the red carpet, the moment where the celebrities walk in posing in the most glamorous outfits which are specifically designed for them by the biggest names in fashion. If the celebrities look their best and designers go all out with their designs, then why wouldn’t the red carpet be my favorite part? Here are my favorite outfits from the evening.

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Images were taken from Jason Merritt/Getty Images and The NY Times

From London With Love

Arguably the second most iconic family in Britain right after The Windsors are the Beckhams. They have had an eventful couple of days as Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) was named entrepreneur of the year and Romeo was featured as the face of the most recent Burberry campaign named “From London With Love” which was inspired by inspired by “the golden age of romantic musicals”. It is breath taking to see an iconic brand with so much heritage presenting to us a short film that just fills us with emotion.

P.S. Victoria and David when are we signing my adoption papers?

Alexander Wang For H&M

In a collaboration that’s meant to hit stores on the 6th of November, Alexander Wang and H&M gave us a preview of what is yet to come. In an interview with Wang explained the idea and motive behind the collection “H&M has done a great job in the past with archive-based collaborations, But I wanted to create a collection where most of the pieces have been designed from scratch. There are only a couple of items that are updates from past designs. Rather than creating affordable versions of expensive items, I wanted to design true performance pieces that are within the natural price points of sportswear of H&M, so we were able to create the best version of these pieces, through our vocabulary.”

Pictures taken from WWD and

The Iconoclasts Celebrating Louis Vuitton’s Monogram

In 1854, Louis Vuitton founded his House. In 1896 his son, Georges Vuitton, created The Monogram in honour of his late father.  The initials of the company – LV – are interlaced in such a way as to remain perfectly legible. Then a diamond. To give a specific character to the shape, he made the sides concave with a four-petal flower in the centre. Then the extension of this flower in a positive image. Finally, a circle containing a flower with four rounded petals.

Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, and artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière initiated a project, dubbed ‘Celebrating Monogram,’ inviting six of the world’s design pioneers to interpret the LV monogram for a new series of bags. The six pioneers are: shoe designer Christian Louboutin; performance artist Cindy Sherman; architect Frank Gehry; Karl Lagerfeld creative director of Chanel and Fendi; product designer Marc Newson and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons.

Karl Lagerfeld shot each of the iconoclasts and their finished products for Harper’s Bazaar’s upcoming October issue.

Information and pictures taken from &

Arab Designers & The Red Carpet

Over the past few seasons we have seen a tremendous growth in the amount of couturiers that originate from the Arab World and they are taking over. We can notice this trend by looking at the stars and what they chose to wear at two important red carpet events that took place a few days ago – The Emmys and The VMA Awards. And the media has been buzzing Julia Roberts made such a statement wearing a short dress by Elie Saab, J.Lo who just turned 45 showed off her incredible body in a Charbel Zoe dress. While Beyonce not only wore one, but two different dresses by Arab designers during the VMAs – a black dress by Nicolas Jebran and a red one by Zuhair Murad. Meanwhile, Alexandra Dabbario revived old Hollywood glamour in Reem Acra.

When Kelly Rowland – a big fan of Arab designers- was asked by Style Arabia about her preference for Arab aesthetics and Arab designers such as Rani Zakhem, Rami Al Ali, Elie Saab, Georges Hobeika, and Georges Chakra, as well as,  Azzedine Alaïa.  Rowland’s stylist replied:

“We absolutely love Middle Eastern designers,” noted Dash. “Alaïa, Georges Chakra, and Elie Saab are a few of our favorites. It’s that Arabian allure. They incorporate so much value and culture into their clothes, which Kelly especially loves.”

Dash (Rowland’s Stylist” later added: “What fascinates us most about Middle Eastern designers has to be the way they externally channel so much creativity into looks for the runways. How their minds are so limitless. They’ve added so much to the Western fashion scene – with the most obvious being the turban, caftan, and hareem pant, which Kelly loved wearing during 2011-2012”

Here are some images from the runway, click to enlarge.

Photos are taken by: Rex Features, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, fabsugar, dailymailuk, & Getty Images


London Street Inspirations

Images that caught my attention during my daily walks here in London…




The $55 Million Watch

Graff unveiled the $55 Million at the 2014 BaselWorld fair. It is made out of 110 Carat watch made of rare diamonds and thousands of hours of craftsmanship, design, and research to create “The Hallucination Watch”  The concept of the Graff Hallucination came directly from Laurence Graff. He commented on his work saying; ” The Graff Hallucination is a sculptural masterpiece; a celebration of the miracle of coloured diamonds. For many years I have thought about creating a truly remarkable watch that illustrates our consuming passion for diamonds. The Hallucination has made my diamond dream a reality!”

Graff $ 55 million watch Hallucination

Graff $ 55 million watch


The Flight of Hope

As I am sitting on my bed here in London on a Sunday night. Expecting it to snow on a summer night from how cold it is outside. I realized that I needed to share an experience that I went through a few weeks ago that I still couldn’t get out of my mind. 

After graduating from Milan I wanted to figure out what my next step in life had to be. I had to decide whether staying in Milan is the best viable option for me or is it moving back to the US or The Middle East, or even London, or Paris. So I took a few swift decisions. I booked a flight to Jordan to go see my family, I thought in the meanwhile I would go check out my opportunities in Dubai, and finally I enrolled for a summer course at Central Saint Martins in London. 

Now the story begins when I boarded my flight from Dubai to Amman, I was heading to Amman to celebrate Eid with my family – celebrating the end of Ramadan. I had just boarded my flight and I sat on the window seat I asked for. It being a 3-3 airplane (6 seats on each aisle with 3 seats on each side). I realized the seat int he middle in between me and the man sitting on the isle seat was empty. When everyone had boarded the airplane, the flight attendant walked in an old lady, and sat her in that empty seat. We maneuvered to accommodate the old lady I assisted her in buckle her seatbelt as she settled in I went back to watching my movie, but I realized she had asked the man next to her to dial a number for her, over my earphones she I could hear her speaking to her soon and informing him to take good care of his wife, which she repeated 3 times. In those moments, the sun had set and people automatically pulled out their food to break their fast. Zoning back into my movie, I then saw man jump from behind and had a lady a sandwich and then a bottle of water. At that point I said to myself hell to the movie I need to get in and know what was going around me. I packed my iPad took my headphones off and decided to zone in onto the conversation that was going between her and the guy sitting on the aisle seat. I soon realized that the man behind me had asked her if she was fasting and she said “yes” so he automatically cut half of his sandwich and gave it to her, which she kindly denied, he also asked her if she wanted to have some water and that she gently accepted. Then as the conversation went on she informed him that she had just come to Dubai a few days ago and had lot consciousness due to her blood pressure. But due to her fall she had busted her lip, lost a tooth, and scratched her face. She had also informed him that she lives in New York and she was here to visit two of her children that lived in Dubai, and how they were busy with their own lives, and how she has no one else specially after her other son got shot due to some gang violence a few years back. And from how sad she was and her deep morning she had a stroke that affected her brain, and she can no longer see properly anymore. Registering all that I didn’t know what to do, here I was eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation, at the same time I couldn’t help but feel with the woman.

Throughout the flight people kept asking her left and right if she needed anything or any assistance. As soon as the flight landed they had made way for her and she was taken right away. I may never meet those people on the flight again but there was something that happened there that was somehow magical. No one cared about her past, or even who she was, everyone was there to help even if it was taking out of their own food and giving it to her after a long day of fasting. I sat there and wondered how our society was. Was that all for the sake of Ramadan, and then after that we turn into sharks? But I realized that no it has become an automatic instinct that we have because we were raised upon such morals. But its one of those instincts that you somehow brush away, because sadly in our modern society its either eat or be eaten.

I would love to think that the great majority still hold to such morals and ethics. I felt a great need to share this incident which took place around 2 weeks ago because I still can’t get it out of my mind or over it.